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Obama 10, America 6, Israel 5, Washington 5, Un 3, Paul Ryan 3, Florida 2, Evan 2, Ryan 2, Nina 2, Us 2, Wisconsin 2, Netanyahu 2, John Kerry 2, Muir 1, United States 1, Barack Obama 1, Gucci 1, U.n. 1, Abc 1,
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  WETA    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table  
   discussions feature journalists. (CC)  

    September 28, 2012
    8:30 - 9:00pm EDT  

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>> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit afge.org. >> what do you think of when you see a tree? fuel for our cars? you think of hope for the environment, or food, clothing, shelter? we do.
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weyerhaeuser, growing ideas. >> what would you say to your supporters, your donors who might be concerned that this could be slipping away? >> i am pleased with the some polls, less so with other polls, but at this stage polls go up, polls go down. >> this week on "inside washington," mitt romney's rough ride. the fight for ohio. >> you may have noticed that there is an election going on. >> we are going to win ohio. >> the foreign policy debate. >> i was certain and continue to be certain that there are going to be bumps in the road. >> "bumps in the road"? we had an ambassador assassinated. >> rare bipartisan agreement. >> did you guys watched the packers game last night? give me a break. it is time to get the real refs.
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captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> it has been a rough couple of weeks for mitt romney. the president has opened up leads in battleground states like ohio, wisconsin, florida, colorado. you would have thought that the assassination of an american ambassador in libya, attacks on embassies elsewhere in the middle east, would have offered mitt romney hagel the opportunity to reframe the debate, but he cannot seem to get there. politico began a piece on friday by telling us with the problem is not -- not clint eastwood and the empty chair, or delete 47% video or media bias. politico says it is mitt. judge for yourselves. >> quite a guy, isn't it?
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paul ryan, isn't that something? >> ryan, ryan. >> way to a second, romney-ryan, romney-ryan, there you go. >> oh, sweet jesus. >> joe scarborough and mika brzezinski on "morning joe." "slowly and reluctantly, republicans who love romney are concluding that for all his gifts as a leader and role model, he is just not a good political candidate in this era." is that fair, mark? >> it is affair. you want to go to the numbers. wherever mitt romney goes, his unfavorable numbers go up. in florida in may, he was at 35% unfavorable. now he is 48% unfavorable. in ohio, 34%, now 49%.
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it is a problem. that has just been the reverse with obama. what do you do? mitt does not have a rose garden. >> charles, you write that in the wake of what is happening in the middle east, romney's "un willingness to go big is simply astonishing." >> it was a great opening this week, with embassies of flame, the ambassador killed, writes -- riots -- that is a collapse of the four-year policy on the middle east. rather than make a serious speech connecting the dots and talking about exactly that, the collapse of the policy or the result of a naive approach to tyrants in the region, he does
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want to drive-by shot, which was accurate, but it was only one, and then he gives a speech to the clinton global initiative about reforming foreign aid, for god's sake. that is a huge opportunity missed. the core problem is this un willingness to go large and bait and tackle the big issues, which if he did, he could win, but he seems reluctant to do it. >> nina? >> i will not take on charles on the merits of these arguments, although i agree that a major foreign policy speech -- i don't think it would have changed things, but it would make him look like a more serious person in some ways. but i really think that that 47% lethal now. , he has not lost, and barack obama is not a great campaigner, and it romney has been practicing and he is a pretty good campaigner -- debater. but because the 47% video was
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truly genuine, him talking and not knowing he was taped, and it played into every stereotype that barack obama has sought to paint about him, it has had an enormous affect. >> evan? >> being a bad politician should not necessarily hurt you at a time when people hate politicians. but romney has not been able to turn that into a virtue. the ponderous word is "rel atability" problem, and the film plays into this, making it look like he is writing off half the country. i wish he would do it tax reform -- i don't think he is going to do that -- or find some way to convince people what he actually is, a decent human being. >> he said this week, "my heart
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aches for the people i have seen. there are so many in the country that are hurting and i want to help them." the voters are not getting that message. >> the problem that he has -- call it or late ability or what you want -- remember john kerry? "before i voted for the $87 million, i voted against it." that played into the negative narrative of john kerry as being a foot locker. -- flip-flopper. this tape played into the stereotype of mitt romney as an aloof, detached, uncaring, just unable to show empathy for people who are not in his social or economic bracket. >> from the politico piece," rare is the moment when romney sings the praises of the working stiff." mike huckabee told the jay leno
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romney reminds you of the guy who fired the of. >> -- fired you. >> look, romney is not going to be the clinton who feels your pain. he is not a great politician. but one of the reasons for this stereotype -- it did not come out of nowhere. it came out of tens of millions of dollars of ads by the obama campaign about how he handled people with bain capital and all that. the essence of this is the other series ads which say he wants to reduce taxes on the rich. romney has protested that this is not true, that he wants to reduce tax rates on the rich, amended in the reform to making sure that the share of taxes paid by the rich will not with change. he said that in interviews but he has never spelled it out in a speech that would get attention. the meme is that he wants to cut taxes on the rich, but policy is
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that he would not. he has never stood up and explain it in a way that would command response and attention. >> there is a way. fairly simple message -- true tax reform has the effect of lowering tax rates for everybody, but all these special interest groups losing their precious loopholes and deductions. i am on the general public's side, against all these interest groups in washington. if he proposes that, that is a true thing and actually work. i don't think he is going to do it. >> not to rob the obama people of credit for their advertising campaign, but let me remind you, these wounds are self-inflicted. "you want to bet $10,000, rick perry?" "ann drives a couple of cadillac's." "car elevator in our home at."
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"i like to fire people." these were not drafted by the obama campaign. these were voluntarily offered by mitt romney, the candidate -- >> and he has taken responsibility for that. >> the reason he has not laid that out is that there are a bunch of studies that disputed, people say, you take away mortgage deductions, and suddenly people are up in arms. >> not necessarily true. people to a certain amount can only deduct up to 2% of income -- >> now you are into the weeds, though. >> it is not the weeds, it is the facts. >> let's get into the weeds. >> will there be changes at the top? >> there are critics and cheerleaders. people all the frustration -- > -- people of all different persuasions -- >> no changes? >> every day there are improvements.
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muir.t is abc's david some say that the polls are to skewed towards the president. >> the preponderance of the evidence seems to be that romney is losing. i am sure mitt romney's own internal polls tell the same message. i know the arguments. the rasmussen poll does not weight democrats more heavily. >> that is the robopolling thing. >> we have an expert here in march shields. >> we are in conservative one country now. -- conservative wine country now. [laughter] it is a miracle that ronald reagan, one of 49 states without fox news, rush limbaugh out, and sean hannity, drudge report, the
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network's dominant and "the new york times" at "the washington post" ascended ent. poor mitt romney, done by some conspiracy out of a settlement in falls church? [laughter] >> reagan was unique and a political actor unlike any we have seen. putting mitt romney against him is not a fair standard. he is not a great campaigner. i happen to think he would be a good position, but he is not a great campaigner. on the polls, evan is right. if 90% are pointing in one direction, is probably true. but you have to apply a formula when you decide to was going to be likely to show. if you apply the model of the 2008 electorate, you get one result, which is highly pressure obama. but if you say the electorate
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would look -- and the pro obama. but if you say the electorate looks more like 2004, then the race is even. it is not a conspiracy, it is a question of which way to model the electorate and which way is going to break down on election day. >> we have a debate coming up, nina. what is your advice to mitt romney? how does he gained ascendancy in that debate? >> he has to have a real moment, and i'm sure they are looking for one. i'm sure they are rehearsing many spontaneous moments. obama reportedly is not spending a lot of time prepping because he has to run the country -- >> oh, yeah, he is running the country out of ohio. >> you campaigned around the country and -- >> jay-z and "the view" takes a lot of effort.
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run the country, my foot. >> as i said, obama is not a gifted debater the way he is a gifted orator. there is a shot here. >> you are the debate coach, evan. >> romney's one goal is to be an actual human being. it is not impossible. >> "mitt, you can be a human being." what is your line, coach? >> what do you want to tell your grandchildren about white you ran in 2012? what is a you want to stand for, how you want the country to be different? i don't care if it is endorsing simpson-bowles, whenever it is. it has to be something that gives the country a sense of where we go from here. we don't care about whether we're better off than we war for
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years ago. america does not know where it is going and neither one of these guys is giving them the map. >> wrong and wrong. him up. might sound as an axiom, that america always elects the cooler candidate. -- my son is an axiom, that america it always looks the cooler candidate. obama is mr. cool. trip him up and you have a chance. >> and nuclear-arms iran is not something that can be contained. >> the united states is following a policy of bullying. >> shockingly, some people have been d -- have begun to peddle the notion that a nuclear-arms iran would stabilize the middle east. yeah, right. >> president obama being criticized for funding time to appear o," -- finding -- finding time to appear on
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"the view" but not me with preside -- minister netanyahu. >> the attack happened five days after the charlotte convention, at which democrats have complained over and over again, spiked the football 100 times over killing osama bin laden. that was the one achievement, and the implication was that he was the guy who took care of al qaeda. within a week you have the al qaeda affiliate sacking the u.s. embassy, killing an ambassador. the administration did not want that story to coexist with their theme of how great an anti- terror policy obama had. they deceived the country, sending the susan rice on the sunday shows pretending that this was the outgrowth of a demonstration, when everybody over the age of nine could see
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that it was premeditated. that is why the story was suppressed until it could no longer be suppressed. >> i am not aware of the conspiracy, but charles has his own strange and wonderful sources -- >> how do you explain her -- >> i am going to try to answer my moderator's question about this. the problem the republicans have is that mitt romney has never cracked the threshold of being a possible commander in chief. i think it does tarnish the obama record. i think there's no question that the murder of osama bin laden took the wind out of the sales of the republican candidates. three of them decided in the wake of that not to run for 2012 because they thought he was unbeatable. it was an enormous credential for obama. but because romney chose paul ryan, he did not fill up the
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emptiness of his resume on foreign policy. for that reason he has not been able to exploit what should be an advantage. >> can you explain why susan rice insisted that the attack on the embassy was the result of a demonstration? >> it is entirely possible -- may i answer? >> i was asking mark. >> we like to hear from everybody. >> if you were actually trying to hide something, you would not send somebody out. you would maintain radio silence -- >> radio silence after an ambassador is murdered? >> can i finish? it may take a little while to figure out exactly what happened. we apparently don't even know for sure -- the fbi has not figured out whether there really was a mob that was exploited, or it was set up by al qaeda or some other group -- we think now it may be some other group -- or not.
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>> evan? >> i don't think there is any conspiracy here. it does take i think they would dearly love to tell the person who did it, and i think eventually they will. >> you want to read a good book about a cagey chief executive? for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to insidewashington.tv. "ike's bluff," by evan thomas. how would he have handled this? >> he would have done everything he could to stop war, but he would have been aggressive, used the cia and technology to stop iraq from getting a bomb. iran from getting a bomb. he was an all-or-nothing guy. if you are going to fight a war, all the way. >> which, ironically, is what
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the israelis are asking of obama. draw the line, you are the biggest power in the world. the only thing netanyahu said at the u.n. this week -- the only thing that could change course. i want to respond to my liberal pals. i cannot respond to -- i cannot believe you are covering for the administration when they said five days later that was obviously a terror attack. why pretend that it was a demonstration? >> it would not be a good plan if there were pretended to say something different -- >> it is a good plan because the blogger you draw it out, the less the public cares about it. it works. who talks about it? >> we are talking about it. >> pbs section of the show --
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give me a break. >> now you are insulting the audience. >> the 9 people in america who care about this stuff. what about the others? >> i bet they want to kill the people who did this. >> it took us quite a while to figure out exactly what happened, and we still may not know everything, in 9/11. with the guy said train, the intelligence had fallen apart. it took us long to realize it with these people were -- who these people were. >> "deception," the word that charles used. >> charles has a conspiracy. if it is a conspiracy, it is a pretty lousy one, being contradicted within hours. the ar drums from think tank commandos and the gucci
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guerrillas who dominate this city. it reminds me of norman schwarzkopf, who led troops to a successful venture, the triumph in the persian gulf war. he was getting all this praise from his fawning flatterers, and he said no, it does not take courage to order men into battle. it takes courage to go into battle. --t we're talking about >> no, the israelis are not asking the westergaard war. -- are not asking the u. s to go to war. they are saying that if you are not interested in doing this, let us fight our own war because our lives are at stake. that is all the israelis are asking for. >> i heard a different speech from you, then. >> no, netanyahu said explicitly that great powers do not have a
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moral light, if they will not draw a red line, of giving israel the red light. are you denying that the administration put enormous pressure on israel to do nothing? >> if the air israelis do it themselves, we have agreements with them. >> we have no agreements of that sort. israel is not a member of nato. >> when the president said this week, if romney is suggesting we should start another war -- is that a cheap shot? >> no. romney uses a lot of bellicose rhetoric and it is irresponsible and the president was calling him on it. >> where do we go from here on foreign policy? >> there could always be an october surprise that is out of our control. >> but less likely now, because
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it looks like israel will not bomb iran on this :. >> this was the message of this speech at the un. he speaks of next year as being the red line, and remember, our defense secretary said that israel would like the attack in april, may, or june. so it is giving obama a bit of a concession, saying that we can wait a little more but not that much more. >> iraq and afghanistan have worked out so damn well. why not iran next? >> simultaneous. who do they give it to? >> touchdown. >> i've never seen anything like that in my years in football. >> who would have thought that the fans would be cheering nfl referees? what a country. >> it is our great country, and any group, the national
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referees, who were kept out of the shortsighted and selfishness and greed of the owners and their lackey commissioner, mr. goodell, have cheering for them scott walker, the union-busting governor of wisconsin, and paul ryan, the union-busting vice- presidential nominee -- he has become a labor activist. what a great country this is. >> strong note to follow, charles. >> you can always leave it to mark to find a partisan ankle to anything. it was a lousy call by guys who do not know the game. that is not political to me. anyway, it is just football. we are in the middle of the pennant races now. who cares? [laughter] >> you watch the amazing national interest in this, but lurking in the background is this existential threat to football, these head injuries. the evidence mounts and mounts that football is really bad for your brain.
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these owners may be sitting on a gold mine now, but you just wonder, when is the day of reckoning coming? >> that is why unique practice referees. -- you need practiced referees. >> it even the referees can add to that of citiwatch to these games, and there is a gladiator feel to it, how hard the hits are. that is the purpose of the game, it makes us all cheer, but it is at the cost of these individuals' futures. >> it keeps us from hitting each other on the head. see you next week. >> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit afge.org. for more information about afge and membership, visit afge.org.
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